IG Warns Public About Fraudulent Phone Calls Threatening Arrest or Legal Action

" "The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is urging citizens to remain vigilant of telephone impersonation schemes that exploit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) reputation and authority.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) continues to receive reports from across the country about fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to be from SSA.  Recent reports have indicated that unknown callers are using increasingly threatening language in these calls.  The callers state, due to improper or illegal activity with a citizen’s Social Security number (SSN) or account, a citizen will be arrested or face other legal action if they fail to call a provided phone number to address the issue.  This is a scam; citizens should not engage with these calls or provide any personal information.

SSA employees do contact citizens, generally those who have ongoing business with SSA, by telephone for customer-service purposes.  However, SSA employees will never threaten you for information; they will not state that you face potential arrest or other legal action if you fail to provide information.  In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up.

“Unfortunately, scammers will try anything to mislead and harm innocent people, including scaring them into thinking that something is wrong with their Social Security account and they might be arrested,” Stone said.  “I encourage everyone to remain watchful of these schemes and to alert family members and friends of their prevalence.  We will continue to track these scams and warn citizens, so that they can stay several steps ahead of these thieves.”

The OIG recently warned that some of these impersonation calls have “spoofed” SSA’s national customer service phone number, displaying 1-800-772-1213 as the incoming number on caller ID.

The Acting Inspector General urges citizens to be extremely cautious, and to avoid providing information such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it.  If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, you should report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

For more information, please visit https://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/scam-awarenessFor media inquiries, please contact Andrew Cannarsa, OIG’s Communications Director, at (410) 965-2671.

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522 thoughts on “IG Warns Public About Fraudulent Phone Calls Threatening Arrest or Legal Action

  1. I received such a call today. It started with an automated message stating that my SSN has activity in a different state I’ve never been to. The call then transferred to a human. He said “Hello”, then I explain to him I got a call concerning my SSN and he immediately hung up. I called back worried at first, then the call routed to a voicemail of a woman. That made me suspect that a scammer used someones number to route that call to me. I went online and realized this has been a scam call. thankfully I didn’t provide any information about myself but I am still worried that they have my number, what else may the scammer have?

  2. I’ve receiving phone calls from the following numbers saying that they’re from the social security
    administration.
    (803) 873-2857
    (803) 873-9757
    (803) 873-1611
    (803) 873-2328
    (803) 873-4454
    (803) 873-9461
    (803) 873-1087
    (803) 873-4087

    • Thanks for letting us know, Roberto. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  3. Thank you for the excellent work you are doing to preserve the SSA’s reputation for meticulous care of its clients. By their very nature, government departments should always be held to high moral standards, and never be seen as the enemy of the ordinary citizen, from whom their authority ultimately derives.

    Perhaps some day we can eliminate the phone scams.

  4. I receive on a average of 5 of those calls a week. The last couple of weeks they are using local numbers
    I called one of those numbers 5 minutes after they called and got some lady saying she never called. I didn’t believe her. I’ve tried blocking and specific software to block but they always get through

    • Thanks for letting us know, Gudrun. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  5. Have been receiving automated telephone calls stating that an arrest warrant has been released in our name because of fraudulent activity on our social security account. It advises to press 1 to speak to a federal agent, which of course we don’t. On the caller ID it says United States, but the telephone number states 928-348-3611. Thank you.

    • Thanks for letting us know, Paula. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  6. A threating call from 334-421-5808 saying they were a social security agent and that my social security number would be suspended unless I called them back.

    • Thanks for letting us know, Michael. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  7. just got such a call today from 112029692050 ABBEY Lockout Co. I did hang up. sadly we cannot answer or phone as we are inundated with spammers, scammers, many every day. Its outrageous.

    • Thanks for letting us know, Thomas. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

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